Ordinarily, I’m not much for anthologies. Generally speaking, the more contributors, the less bothered I am to read every story. Thus this collection of eight YA vampire romances is a welcome surprise. It hasn’t made me chase up every author’s backlist, but I read each short.
Cynthia Leitich Smith’s “Haunted Love” is memorable and cringe-free. Kristin Cast’s “Amber Smoke” is good, before readers’ attention wanes. Rachel Caine’s “Dead Man Stalking” gives insight into effed-up family relations. Tanith Lee’s “Table Manners” has wonderful psychological depth, but the lead character talks to the reader. Richelle Mead’s “Blue Moon” is a treat. Nancy Holder’s “Changed” steps up when the characters hit the high school gym. Rachel Vincent’s “Binge” is gold. And Claudia Gray’s “Free” provides a view into race relations in pre-Civil War US.
Despite both vampires and romances not being my cup of tea, Immortal is a strong collection with something for everyone. The quality varies from good to great, but every story is worth reading.